Last July, frustrated that our friends in the legacy media shunned scrutinizing the record of President Obama, I created the category, “Where’s the Scrutiny?” The Democrat has become accustomed to a press which downplays news which threatens the image he has crafted and refrains from asking him particularly tough questions.
The president, Michael Barone observed, “suffered” last night
. . . from his lack of scrutiny from mainstream media. As I like to say, there is nothing free in politics, but there is some question about when you pay the price. In this first debate Obama paid the price for the hands-off treatment he has received from mainstream media. His talking points, advanced by his spokesmen in the confidence that they will not be seriously challenged, were refuted by an energized and articulated and well-informed Mitt Romney. He stood there petulantly and pathetically, nonplussed by the fact that his flimsy talking points were effectively challenged.
And Romney was unfazed about doing the work the legacy media never does, exposing the president, as Michael Walsh put it
. . .as the Primo Carnera of his day, the mob-owned heavyweight champ who won a series of fixed fights — until he finally found himself in the ring against an opponent who didn’t fear him, and who was more than happy to whale on him, especially once Romney figured out that Obama couldn’t hurt him. Meanwhile, Obama kept looking over at Mitt with a “I can’t believe you know all this stuff” look on his face, while periodically casting beseeching glances at moderator Jim Lehrer, hoping to be saved by a bell that never came.
No wonder he was shocked, as the National Review’s John J. Pitney, Jr. put it “to confront someone who talks back on equal terms.”
What we learned (yet again, for conservatives who follow politics) last night was not just that Obama is the metaphorical naked emperor, but also that the legacy media had long been promoting his magnificent, but non-existent, wardrobe. Last night, Victor Davis Hanson wrote that it now
becomes clear just how the media for the last six years have enfeebled their favorite. And unlike 2008, there is now an Obama record to defend, rather than just repeating hope-and-change platitudes and vague generalities that have worked in the past.
And likely will not work very well in the future.
RELATED: Ed Driscoll links James Taranto:
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE PRESIDENT: James Taranto, in today’s Best of the Web column writes, “Journalists and pundits turn on Obama for failing to make their fairy tales come true,” and notes that one reason why last night’s debate “came as such a shock to Obama” — and by extension, Obama’s Palace Guard MSM — “is that it was the first time in his career that he shared a debate stage with a serious opponent:”